Americans spend over 90 percent of their time indoors, creating an extremely sedentary, disconnected and unhealthy lifestyle. Gardening, however, offers an easy, fun, inexpensive and immensely satisfying way to boost your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Regardless of what size garden you have, even if it’s just a small balcony, you can still enjoy the benefits gained from growing plants and flowers. This is especially true for veterans, particularly when they have become used to living a certain way of life while away on military service and struggle to adjust to normal civilian life when they come back home. They may also be coping with a number of health challenges too. Gardening can provide a much-needed outlet for improving overall health and can be done either alone for some quiet time or with the family, working together to create a beautiful and ordered outside space.
Extensive Mental Health Benefits
A number of studies have found that garden has extensive mental health benefits. Regular gardening can significantly reduce mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, while also helping to reduce stress and fight high blood pressure. It’s also an effective way to boost overall physical fitness too. And while gardening may be a wonderful stress reliever, it’s also great for brain health too. One particular piece of research that studied people in their 60s and 70s for 16 years, discovered that those who regularly gardened had an incredible 36 percent lower risk of developing dementia than non-gardeners.
Grow with Your Family
When a member of the family has been away for considerable time on military service, it can sometimes feel difficult for them to find their place back in the family. But working together on a project, such as gardening, or any general household maintenance task, offers a unique opportunity for family members to reconnect and bond. Whether you choose to create a family garden area or simply plant up a few containers, it will offer you valuable time to spend together.
Restoring Order in Your Garden
It doesn’t matter whether you have gardened before or how knowledgeable you are, you can easily find something that you will find rewarding. After all, gardening comes in many forms, from planting and weeding to general outdoor maintenance tasks such as cleaning the gutters and washing paths, driveways and patios. There are a number of different ways that veterans can find their passion and enthusiasm when it comes to gardening. Whether it’s growing their own fruit and vegetables, using a greenhouse to grow plants from seeds or just simply keeping a well-ordered garden. Even veterans with limited outdoor space can enjoy container gardening or benefit from creating an urban garden where they share community space with others.
Being outside around nature has a calming influence and can really give you an emotional boost. Gardening is a great way to help someone channel their stress as they immerse themselves in simple household tasks, such as garden and home maintenance. Not only does it help to create a beautiful and organized home and garden to enjoy, but the feeling of satisfaction after even some simple planting or cleaning can really boost a person’s self-esteem and feeling of self-worth.